How to change your Steam Deck startup movie

Today Valve made it possible to change your Steam Deck launch movie in the easiest possible way. The ability to do this has been available on Steam Deck for quite some time. But Valve didn’t make it a built-in feature until March 15th.

The company released a new update for the Steam Deck on the stable channel that enables this feature. Now it’s much, much easier than ever to change your Steam Deck startup movie. That being said, if you want to use custom videos, it requires a tiny, tiny setup. The built-in feature will still support them, but you need to get them in the right place first. That’s why we created this guide to guide you and change the movie with the new built-in method once you have what you want.

If you don’t want to mess with custom videos, don’t worry. Valve made some pretty nice ones that you can buy in the Points Store for 3,000 points each. And once you’ve picked them up, they go exactly where they’re needed. Let’s get out of the way with all of this.

Where to Get Custom Steam Deck Launch Movie

Before we proceed, you’ll need some custom movies to apply. Fortunately, there is a really great collection of these on reddit. Head over to the SteamDeckBootVids subreddit and enjoy scrolling through all kinds of awesome custom videos, all made by Steam Deck users like you.

Once you’ve found what you want, you need to download it. So here is our recommendation.

Start Steam Deck in desktop mode

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While it’s possible to transfer files to the Steam deck in a variety of ways, such as through the Warpinator app, it’s honestly more convenient to just download the movies directly to the Steam deck. You can do this via desktop mode, which is what we suggest. So press the Steam button to bring up the menu options, then scroll to and click Power and click Desktop Mode.

This will put the Steam Deck in desktop mode.

Open your preferred browser

If you don’t have another browser installed, you can use the built-in browser that Valve provided as part of desktop mode. It should serve your purposes well. Or you can use something like Edge if you have that installed too. Then simply search for the SteamDeckBootVids subreddit and the subreddit should appear as one of the first results. Go to this page and search for a video that you would like to use.

Once you find one, click on the post and look for the link that will take you to the movie’s download file. Usually the poster added a link to get the launch movie in case someone else wants to use it. Then download it and continue.

How to set up your Steam Deck to use custom launch movies

This next set of steps takes things a little off the beaten path. But don’t worry, it’s not too difficult to prepare and prep everything.

Open your file browser

First you should open a file browser (e.g. Dolphin file browser) so you can find and create the folders.

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Create the folder where custom startup movies will be saved

You need to create a folder to hold any custom startup movies you want to use. The Steam Deck automatically knows to look for these files when they are in the right place. First locate the home folder in the directory. This should be the first option along the side panel.

Click on it and look for the .steam folder. If you don’t see this folder, it’s hidden. To unhide the folder and all other hidden folders, click the three-line hamburger icon in the upper-right corner of the file browser window. It’s right next to the search button. Here there is an option to show hidden files. Click on that and you should now be able to see the .steam folder.

Once inside that folder, click on the root folder. In this folder, click on the configuration folder. Now you can create the folder where you need to save your downloaded startup movies. In the config folder, create one called uioverrides. Then open this folder and create the last folder called Movies. Into this Movies folder you need to move all your downloaded starter movies. Now just go where the movies you downloaded are located and transfer them to this folder you just created. I found it easiest to move them individually.

Once you’ve moved everyone, put your Steam deck back into play mode.

How to change your Steam Deck startup movie

Now that all the other stuff is out of the way, you can get down to the simplest steps. Change your startup movie to what you want to see every time you turn on the device.

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Click the Steam button

Click the Steam button to open the menu.

Click Settings

Now go to the settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the menu and look for adjustments.

Click Customization

In the customization menu, you will see all your movies at the bottom. If all of the ones you downloaded are in the right place, they will appear here.

Select a start movie to use

Now just highlight the movie you want to use, click on it and that is now the movie you see as the machine boots up every time. You can save several here, so find and download as many as you like. Everything you buy in the points shop is also displayed here. Also, there’s a toggle to shuffle them if you want the Steam deck to randomly choose one each time you turn it on. However, this only really makes sense if you have more than a few of them.

And that’s it! Now you can easily change the start movie of your Steam Deck. And if you don’t already have a Steam deck, now’s a good time to get one. When Valve just put them on sale at a 10% discount to celebrate Steam Deck’s first birthday.

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March 16, 2023